grocery shopping


Buying groceries. For most of us it’s a chore. Although I actually rather like it, except when I have to shop in Fairway’s west side store a few days before a holiday. No one likes that.

I practice my own grocery manifesto: you can’t be a great cook unless you’re first a good food shopper. That’s because most of the work and key decisions about our home cooking get done when we shop, not when we’re back in the kitchen.

You’d never know this if you’ve drawn your understanding of cooking from the Food Network or Instagram. That’s because there’s not much to see when you’re shopping, except for the blood sport that plays out in Trader Joe’s the day before a blizzard. Plus, if you consider the volumes of cookbooks and food blogs, you’d think what matters the most is the recipe. It’s not. It’s the shopping.

Shop well and you’ll eat well. It’s a small idea. But it has big impact.

Grocery shopping is where the health, value, and pleasure of cooking converge. It’s in the store when you can limit the amount of chemicals or hormones in your food. This is also when you’ll choose the best ways to add flavor to what you’re about to eat. If you doubt me on that, compare the taste of a scrambled just-laid egg bought at a farmer’s market with one that’s been sitting in a Gristedes refrigerator case for two weeks.

Let’s stay with those eggs a moment longer. If your recipe calls for two large eggs, shouldn’t you know whether the hens that laid the eggs were fed antibiotics to keep them laying a few weeks longer? Likewise if it’s two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or a pound of ground beef. The provenance of the olive oil — grown, pressed and bottled in Italy or Spain within the last two months (the label on the bottle says so) versus being blended in a factory somewhere near the Mediterranean more than a year ago. Or was the ground beef from a cow on hormones so that it would grow faster while being fed grain to make it fatter; or was it hormone-free and raised on grass? Taken together all these facts will have a huge impact on both nutrition and flavor. Grass versus grain fed may not matter to you and you may not be a locavore, but the point is that you should know what you’re getting and be in a state of choice.

Your choices will also impact how your dish turns out. Buy cubed leg of lamb for a stew and it will be tough; buy the same amount of lamb shoulder and your stew will be tender. You need to know the right cut of meat for how you’re going to cook it, which will not only get you a better result but often will also save you money. For example, that leg of lamb costs much more than shoulder.

Sadly, unless we’re eating everything from our own farm, we can’t be 100 percent sure of what we’re buying. But there are ways we can improve our odds of knowing what we’re paying for and what we’re eating.

Online ordering usually gives you the option of having either home delivery or store collection. Most stores give you a two hour time slot for your grocery delivery or collection; some may narrow it down to just one hour. This makes the service very convenient. With an 18 hour delivery window to choose from, seven days a week, you can easily fit your grocery shopping around your other commitments.

Delivery charges may be higher for the more popular delivery slots, for example on a Friday or Saturday. For major public holidays like Christmas or New Year, delivery slots can get booked up several months in advance. You can avoid excessive delivery charges by booking early and planning your shopping spend weeks ahead.

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Package delivery or parcel delivery is the delivery of shipping containers, parcels, or high value mail as single shipments. The service is provided by most postal systems, express mail, private courier companies, and less than truckload shippingcarriers.


food which is ordered and packed and is then taken away to be  at home or elsewhere .

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